The Potential Use of Sound for Fish Protection at Diversion and Power Production Facilities

Project ID: 343
Principal Investigator: Steve Hiebert
Research Topic: Fish Passage and Entrainment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004 and 2005
Keywords: None

Research Question

* Can varying sound pressures, frequencies, and patterns transmitted underwater near water diversions or power generators be used to reduce or eliminate undesirable losses of fish through these facilities?

* Following determination of high potential sound patterns as a deterrent, can a prototype automatic, hydraulic (or electric) powered sound generator be designed and installed at a test diversion or penstock?

Need and Benefit

Fish are lost to natural riverine systems at diversions. In order to reduce fish loss and continue to deliver water and not increase operation and maintenance costs, innovative techniques need to be designed and tested to reduce fish loss. Primary current fish protection technology is positive screens with solid mesh barriers. If a nonintrusive technology could be determined and demonstrated to have the potential to reduce fish loss at Reclamation facilities, there could be considerable cost saving in reduced maintenance and the associated costs.

Through information searching and testing of fish with potential sound patterns, a fish entrainment reduction system based on sound pressure diverting fish would be developed for experimental use at a field site. With the ability to divert fish from harmful areas and diversions at Reclamation facilities, fish would not become jeopardized, thereby allowing water and power delivery to continue over wide changes in flows and water years. A noninvasive fish deterrent system could save several million dollars over a conventional screen because of the lower operation and maintenance costs.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20